PbS as a highly catalytic counter electrode for polysulfide-based quantum dot solar cells

Zion Tachan, Menny Shalom, Idan Hod, Sven Rühle, Shay Tirosh, Arie Zaban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

299 Scopus citations


We show that a significant improvement of the light to electric power conversion efficiency of quantum dot sensitized solar cells with a polysulfide electrolyte can be achieved when a PbS counter electrode is used. An acid pretreatment of a Pb metal foil followed by dipping into polysulfide solution provides a counter electrode which improves the short circuit current, open circuit voltage, and fill factor compared to commonly used Pt electrodes. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy reveals a low charge transfer resistance between polysulfide and PbS, indicating the high catalytic activity of PbS. Moreover, a comparison with reported charge transfer resistance values at open circuit potential for alternative counter electrodes for polysulfide shows that PbS is the most catalytic of all. For a CdSe quantum dot sensitized mesoporous TiO2 electrode, we achieved a conversion efficiency of 3% using PbS as a counter electrode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6162-6166
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number13
StatePublished - 7 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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